Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle appeared on CAN-TV’s Chicago Newsroom on Thursday night and host Ken Davis started the show by questioning Preckwinkle about the dismal showings of the candidates she endorsed in this week’s primary.
Joy Cunningham lost her race for Illinois Supreme Court. Ald. Ricardo Munoz failed to unseat Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown. Raja Krishnamoorthi lost to Tammy Duckworth in the 8th Congressional District’s Democratic primary. Preckwinkle’s only winner was Christian Mitchell, who will be the next state representative in the 26th District, which includes the 4th Ward, of which Preckwinkle is committeeman.
“You didn’t have such a good night, Madame President,” Davis said.
Preckwinkle tried to put a positive spin on it.
“I’m very grateful for all the help Christian Mitchell got,“ she said. “He’s a very talented young man and was a candidate in the 26th District and won the race by more than 500 votes.”
As for her losers…
“There are some high profile people that I supported. Joy Cunningham was somebody I got to know when she ran for the Appellate Court. She was running for the Supreme Court, fine candidate, to take nothing away from Mary Jane Theis. Rick Munoz was my colleague in the City Council for 20 years, a smart and talented guy who also didn’t win.”
“You were publicly opposed to one of the key people in the county government,” Davis said, referring to Brown. “That must be a little awkward, isn’t it?”
“I called her yesterday, I talked to her this morning. I wished her well.”
“So it was a little awkward then?”
“Well, yeah,” Preckwinkle admitted. “The people you support don’t necessarily win. You have to make the best choices that you can. I’ve been a committeeperson for 20 years. I’ve always tried to support good candidates. It’s just the people I supported got a little more attention this time, given my new job.”
Asked whether she agreed with Munoz’s charge that Brown runs an antiquated office that needs to be brought into the digital era, Preckwinkle didn’t take the bait.
“What I said during the campaign was that I’d known Rick for 20 years, he was my friend, he was a smart and talented person. I thought he’d do well at the job,” she said.
Davis then brought up Carol Marin’s column on Preckwinkle’s endorsements, in which Marin wrote “You don’t endorse if you don’t also intend to win, and there’s a danger in spreading yourself too thin.”
“What would you say to Carol Marin?” Davis asked.
“First and foremost, I supported people that I believed in, and that I had confidence would do a good job. She was critical basically for being loyal to people who it didn’t turn out had a very good shot at winning, and if the only criticism she has of me is that I’m loyal to people I think would be good and talented elected officials, I’ll take that shot.”